The Johari Window

A Simple, Effective Communications Tool

by Dale Fisher

One of the surprises that I received at our latest TLM training in Kenya was the powerful impact that the Johari Window had on the pastors. This basic model of inter-personal communications outlines how people know things about themselves and choose to either share them or not. It encourages individuals to "open" the window by disclosing more of themselves and ask for feedback to reduce blind spots. As the pastors practiced "sharing undisclosed things" and "asking for feedback," relationships deepened and trust was increased.

Praise God for this simple communications tool and how the pastors used it for God's glory during our training conference.

Here is a portion of text taken from my lesson plan.

— — —

How do we communicate 'trust' in a relationship? One of the best-known communication-related visuals in the business field is the 'Johari Window,' which describes how we give and receive information about ourselves and others in relationships (source: Wikipedia). The window is a graphic display of interpersonal awareness.

The Johari Window has these four unique panes.

By depicting relational communication as a window, the Johari Window makes an interesting point: For integrity and transparency to increase in a relationship, blind spots and hidden truths about a person must decrease. This can only happen when you reveal some of your inner feelings and others let you know about your blind spots. The giving and receiving of feedback is achieved by this process.

A byproduct of such transparent communication is the likelihood that previously unknown information will be uncovered. The process of opening the Johari Window's panes is shown to the left. It is through asking (requesting feedback) and telling (disclosing) that our Open pane is expanded and that we gain access to the potential within us represented by the Unknown pane. A relational and transformed leader is one who is transparent and discloses his or her personal beliefs, values, and attitudes and then receives feedback about how others see himself or herself.

In our personal relationships, the following is essential:

— — —

The assignment that I gave to the pastors was this:
To help open your Johari Window, share with your spouse one thing that you have hidden from her or him (i.e., You know it but they don't know it). Pastors: Share one fear that you have. Also ask one close friend for feedback about yourself so that your 'blind spot' is decreased.

You may want to try opening the window of your life and disclose something about yourself, as well as ask for feedback. See how God will work!

After Dale completed his sermon, Pastor Emmanuel Game stood up and asked the congregation, 'What have you learned from this message?'

Dale uses the Johari Window model to teach pastors
in Kenya how to communicate "trust" in their personal relationships.

    Like apples of gold in settings of silver
    Is a word spoken in right circumstances. — Proverb 25:11